I am 29 and my boyfriend is 27 we are both educated professionals. We have been dating a year and a half and I feel like we are two fools in love who have no idea how to deal with it. I’ve been divorced for four years from my husband of eight years. My boyfriend had an eight year relationship that ended four years ago as well. We met online and have both been very cautious in our relationship, but it has grown to the point where I am ready for a lifetime commitment from him.
I’m ready to jump into an engagement, but he’s been backing away. He just got a promotion two months ago, and for five months things have been different. Five months ago he was feeling me out for what I would say if he popped the question and he was not expecting my answer to be that I would say yes and that I was serious about him. When his promotion came along we have been unable to see each other as much (we live 50 minutes away) and his living situation does not allow for me to come visit him (no dogs overnight).
I can say I have never ever loved a man like this. I cannot shake him or dump him despite the fact he has been nonexistent the last few months. He tells me he loves me, tells me he wants me, but says it’s unfair to me that he cannot give me what I need right now and that I deserve the world (I am really REALLY good to him). I have played the games of dumping him and then taking it back; I have given him deadlines of when I think he should figure things out (whether he wants a commitment or not); and I have been understanding about his job and the stress it causes him. I don’t feel he wants me to end it, but I don’t know how much more of this rollercoaster I can take. My head says break it off, but my heart says that I don’t want to be without him and that love is hard and I need to stick by him. — Deadline Driven
You’re delusional if you think you and your boyfriend are “two fools in love.” The only fool you’ve described in your letter is … you. It’s been a year and a half, and not only have you let your boyfriend know you want a lifetime commitment from him, you’ve given him what sounds like multiple “deadlines” to figure out whether he wants a commitment from you. Well, guess what: he has figured it out and the answer is no.
He wants things to stay exactly as they are (well, minus the constant marriage talk on your end), which is to say entirely on his terms. He sees you when he wants to see you, which sounds like not very often at all, and he gets a girlfriend who is “REALLY good to him.” He gets the benefits of a relationship without having to put in any work. In fact, your situation is a lot like the letter from last week in which the woman wanted the “girlfriend” label. The difference here is that you’ve been together over three times as long and you’ve already given several ultimatums that have come and gone.
Darlin’, this ship has sailed. The window is closed. The sun has set on whatever great day you once had together. It’s done. It’s over. It’s time to move on. This isn’t even a “rollercoaster” you’re on as that would require there to be some ups and it doesn’t sound like you’ve had many of those lately. No, this is just a dead end road leading to nothing but heartache.
Your relationship began to change at the exact time you made clear you wanted a serious, longterm commitment. Don’t you see the connection there? Your boyfriend knows he isn’t the person to give you what you want to he backed off. And the five months since then have done nothing to bring you closer together again despite your repeated attempts to make your boyfriend commit. Take the hint here and MOA. If this were going to happen, it would have happened by now. The only thing your future holds with this guy is heartache if you continue to stay with him in the land of denial, so do yourself a huge favor and MOA before you get any more lovesick.
*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at email@example.com and be sure to follow me on Twitter.